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Hamas leader Yousef released after six years in Israeli jail

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Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, was released on Thursday after almost six years in Israeli prisons, local media reported.

Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the founders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, was released on Thursday after almost six years in Israeli prisons, local media reported.

Israeli authorities released Yousef, who was jailed in September 2005 on charges of involvement in terror activities, among some 200 other Palestinian prisoners as a gesture in honor of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper said.

Yousef is considered one of the most prominent Hamas figures in the West Bank. He was arrested by the Israeli authorities several times starting from 1993. The last time, he was released on parole in 2004 after spending two years in jail.

Yousef's son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, made headlines last year when he published a book in which he admitted to spying for Israel's security service Shin Bet. The revelation made his father disown him.

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